I use photography as a means of painting with light, exploring the colors, textures, and forms found within the natural world to create sensual, abstract images that create an emotional connection with the viewer.
Photography has a special place in my family's history. Both my grandfather and father were photographers and my sister and I now follow in their footsteps. While the technical skills have been passed down from generation to generation, the passion has always been something we have developed individually. Growing up, my passion was for drawing. In college, I focused largely on printmaking, transforming gestural paintings done in pen and ink into rich, colorful relief and intaglio prints. This remained my focus for many years until I purchased a digital camera about ten years go.
I intended to use the camera simply to document my painting and printmaking with greater flexibility than I had with slide film and tungsten lighting, but it quickly became a tool for artistic expression; first, with portraiture, then later with nature photography. The interest in nature came with moving to my new home.
My childhood home was build about ten years before my family moved in. It already had mature trees and bushes and we took little interest in growing flowers for the over twenty years that I lived there. When I moved, it was to new construction. There were no trees, no shrubs or flowers, and only the smallest hint of a lawn. So, we decided to landscape it ourselves. It was then that I began to really closely examine flowers and appreciate the rich beauty not only of the flower as a whole, but of the parts that made it.
So it was that when I decided one day to take some pictures of my pear tree when it was in bloom, I chose not to photograph the tree as a whole. Instead, I took pictures of the individual blossoms, then moved in even closer to take pictures of the petals and stamens. What began as simple snap-shots grew in just a few days into studies for paintings and over the course of just a few weeks, into an artistic end in themselves.
My work in painting and printmaking was very painterly and linear, using flowing brushstrokes that varied greatly in thickness to describe complex shapes and convey rich emotion. As I began to use photography, I worked in much the same way Ð describing lines by the sharp edges of a petal and the out of focus background behind, creating a softer line not with a thinner brushstroke but with a narrower depth of field. I was photographing flowers rather than painting figures, but the petals took on the same motion as the fluid hair I had previously painted and the flowers' stems and stamens were my figures' arms and legs. I was still painting. I was just using a camera to do it.